“Andrea is back” – Rediscovering ‘Even the Wind Is Afraid’ (Mexico 1968 – 88 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Jul 29, 2014

An almost unheard of gem, ‘Even the Wind Is Afraid’ (‘Hasta el Viento Tiene Miedo’) is an excellent Mexican horror featuring abandoned towers, mysterious photos, and eerie night-time scenes full of rain and howling gales.

Set in a posh boarding school for girls, student Claudia (Alicia Bonet) has been having repeated nightmares where she hears her name being called out in the dead of night. Her dream takes her to an old tower in the grounds of the school, where she sees the body of a girl hanging from the rafters. Along with classmates, Kitty, Yvette, Marina and Flavia, they begin …

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As Young as You Feel – Rediscovering ‘Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell’ (US 1951 – 87 mins).

Posted in Rediscover by - Jul 28, 2014

The second sequel to the very popular 1948 domestic comedy ‘Sitting Pretty’, ‘Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell’ is my favourite of the three Belvedere movies. It’s a quaint little film with a wonderful group of elderly characters, all coming to realise that just because you’re old, it doesn’t mean that you should lose your sense of fun and learning.

Lying about his real age in order to get a place in a senior citizens home, Lynn Belvedere (Clifton Webb), the charming, self-proclaimed genius, goes undercover to carry out a study about the values of growing old. His entertaining tales and exaggerated …

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Bond Girls and Mulberry Bushes – Remembering Angela Scoular (1945 – 2011)

Posted in Remember by - Jul 26, 2014

For a while in the 1960’s, the sweet and beautiful Angela Scoular projected a very British persona of a fun-loving figure without a care in the world. Unfortunately, in real life she spent many years battling personal demons which, coupled with various health problems, would eventually and tragically beat her.

Born on 8 November 1945, Angela’s screen career got off to a promising start playing Juliet in a 1965 television production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and then a 1967 adaptation of Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, as Cathy opposite Ian McShane’s Heathcliff. On the big screen Scoular played a society girl in …

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Buried in the ‘Burbs – Rediscovering ‘Diary of the Dead’ (US 1976 – 93 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Jul 21, 2014

An excellent PG-rated potboiler with a first-rate cast, ‘Diary of the Dead’ is a delicious slice of urban chaos, based on Ruth Rendell’s 1971 novel ‘One Across, Two Down’.

Crossword loving Stan (Héctor Elizondo) is 39, out of work, and lives with his wife and her domineering mother, Maud (Geraldine Fitzgerald). Struggling to make ends meet, Stan devises a plan to get his hands on Maud’s fortune. He switches her pills with sugar substitutes, in the hope of causing her a fatal stroke. Things go awry however when Maud collapses and dies during a heated argument with Stan. Covering up the …

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“The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips” – Mae Murray (1885 – 1965)

Posted in Rewind by - Jul 18, 2014

“We were like dragonflies. We seemed to be suspended effortlessly in the air, but in reality, our wings were beating very, very fast.” – Mae Murray

A talented dancer and exotic beauty, Mae Murray is one of Hollywood’s best known names of the silent era. Today though, for those that do remember her, it is more so for her personal life than her movie output.

Born Marie Koenig on May 10th 1889, Mae dreamed of being a dancer from childhood, and by 17 she was on Broadway as a chorus girl, and later joined the “Ziegfeld Follies” chorus line before progressing onto …

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Stage Fright – Rediscovering ‘The Killer Reserved Nine Seats’ (Italy 1974 – 99 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Jul 16, 2014

One of the better Italian giallo’s from the mid 70’s’, ‘The Killer Reserved Nine Seats’ (L’assassino ha riservato nove poltrone) has a simple plot enlivened by a decent cast in an impressive setting, where incest, ancient curses and of course murder, soon rears its head.

One night nine people are invited to an old opera house owned by the Davenant family. The group is headed by the wealthy Patrick Davenant (Chris Avram), his fiancé Kim (Janet Agren), his red haired daughter Lynn (Paola Senatore) and her boyfriend Duncan (Gaetano Russo). Also invited are Patrick’s former flame Vivian (Rosanna Schiaffino), her friend …

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“The most beautiful day in my life” – Rediscovering ‘…ing’ (South Korea 2003 – 104 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Jul 14, 2014
“The most beautiful day in my life” – Rediscovering  ‘…ing’  (South Korea  2003 – 104 mins)

Moving, without being overly sentimental, the rather cryptically titled drama ‘…ing’, is another of those beautiful life-affirming movies that South Korea seems to be so good at making.

Living with a genetic disease, young Min-ah has been in and out of hospital for most of her life. With a deformed hand and terminal illness, she lives an orderly existence with her mother, knowing that each day is precious to them both. When a brash young man moves into the apartment downstairs, and begins showing an interest in her, Min-ah is slowly brought out of her shell, but reluctant to further this …

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Hollywood’s Heroic Heavy – Remembering Neville Brand (1920 – 1992)

Posted in Remember by - Jul 11, 2014

Tough and uncompromising, former military hero Neville Brand brought his hard, threatening manner to a number of westerns, prison flicks and other cult movies. With his gruff voice and intimidating stare, it’s easy to see why he was so often cast in villainous roles, yet he could also be sympathetic and gentle when called for.

Born in Iowa on August 13th, 1920, Brand spent the years 1939 to 1945 in the US Army, where his heroic actions earned him both the Silver Star and Purple Heart. After studying drama, he made his feature debut in the 1950 noir …

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From Beyond the Grave – Rediscovering ‘Next of Kin’ (Australia/New Zealand 1982 – 89 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Jul 09, 2014

An eerie slow-burner from Down Under; ‘Next of Kin’ is a wonderfully creepy thriller, filled with thunderstorms and mysterious goings-on. While it’s not your average 80′s horror flick, and also rather slow paced, it does deserve a wider audience for its interesting story line and memorable finale.

After she inherits the Montclare Retirement Home from her deceased mother, Linda Stevens appears to be the target of an unknown stalker. Also, some of the elderly residents are going missing and later turning up dead. The answers to these mysterious happenings appear to come from her mother’s diary that Linda stumbles upon, which …

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Sins of the Father – Rediscovering ‘Los Sin Nombre’ (Spain 1999 – 102 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Jul 07, 2014

Also known as ‘The Nameless’, the gripping 1999 Spanish horror ‘Los Sin Nombre’, is a dark and disturbing tale of family bereavement and sacrificial cults. It also features one of the most jaw-dropping final scenes of any movie I’ve seen.

Five years after her missing daughter’s mutilated body was found, her mother Claudia (Emma Vilarasau), receives a strange phone call from someone claiming to be Ángela, her dead daughter. The voice is asking for help, saying that “they” are going to kill her if Claudia doesn’t rescue her. Other clues begin turning up suggesting that Ángela is indeed still alive. With …

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